Looking for a fun game to play with friends or family? Our librarians share some of their favorites, along with tips and tricks on how to play. We also recommend similar games, called Play Alikes, to keep the fun going! You can also search by game type (deck building, cooperative, etc.) or what 21st Century Skill each game teaches.
Team up to battle Marvel super villains in this fast-paced game! In only 5 minutes, quickly lay down cards with your teammates to defeat goons and masterminds as you work your way up to the big boss.
- Equal number of female and male characters.
- Characters are based more on the comics than the movies.
- Has a downloadable free app to keep track of the time, voiced by Paul Bettany as J.A.R.V.I.S.
- 5 Minute Dungeon - same gameplay, but with Dungeons and Dragons classes
- Villainous - Disney villains battle each other for control
- Codenames Marvel - similar Marvel theme
As a leader of an ancient city, you will use various strategies to collect necessary resources, amass the largest army to defeat your neighbors, and eventually build the most prosperous city with architectural wonder. All the while attempting to score the highest amount of points. This easy-to-learn game moves quickly and offers various strategy options, and appeals to different types of gamers—especially competitive aggressors who prefer to build up their army or peaceful scientists investing in research.
- There are several expansions that offer an additional variety of choices and possibilities.
- We found that the playing time usually extends to 45 min. or longer depending on the player's prior knowledge of the game.
- Splendor – utilizes a similar mechanism of building a unique hand (tableau) through drafting cards from a limited set of cards
- Dominion – similar in building a unique hand of cards
- Sushi Go! – similar mechanic of all players secretly selecting a card and revealing their choices simultaneously
A classic party game perfect for groups of all ages and all sizes! Choose the funniest card in your hand that relates to the adjective card played by the judge and win the round. With a new judge every round, gameplay is quick, and it’s a great way to learn everyone’s sense of humor.
- Very easy game to learn.
- Players can be added to the game at any time.
- Dixit - Quickplay game where you choose the best-matched card, and there’s a new judge each round
- Superfight -- Because you are creatively matching objects with descriptors, sometimes in very humorous ways
Scrabble-lite for those who are not quite ready for the real thing. If your tiles don’t work, grab some more!
- A lot of table space is needed because there is no gameboard.
- Directions show various versions of gameplay.
- Scrabble – Also uses tiles in game play
- Boggle – Also focused on word formation
Build and explore a haunted mansion with your teammates until one of the players triggers a haunt which reveals the traitor. Then, the innocent players must then work together to stop the traitor before it’s too late!
- Expansion edition: Betrayal at House on the Hill: Widow’s Walk.
- High replayability thanks to a variety of room choices and how they can be connected; you’ll never get bored playing this game because you might never get the same house/scenario again.
- Requires a large table space to lay the house tiles.
- Mysterium - For players who enjoy creepy games with a cooperative element
- Dead of Winter - Also a horror-themed semi-cooperative survival game with a traitor element
- Obscurio - Semi-cooperative game with a traitor element
Compete to see who can strategically place the most Tetris-like shapes of their color on the board. Each piece must touch another of the same color, but only diagonally on the corners. When players begin to run out of room, it becomes a mad dash to claim territory, block other players, and find creative ways to place all 21 of your pieces.
- The publisher has released multiple versions of the game.
- If a piece gets lost, the game still works by removing the same shape from the other three colors.
- Callisto - For players craving a similar competitive, spatial gaming experience
- Silver and Gold - Because players are using the same types of shapes to fill in game boards
- Tsuro - Players must also strategically place tiles on the board
Five camels race around a pyramid. The earlier you bet, the more you can win; that is, if you bet correctly. But beware! Camels don’t race neatly - they pile up and can get carried along. Roll the dice, place your bets, and may the best camel win.
- The publisher has released two editions. The second edition has higher quality materials that withstand the wear and tear of frequent play (ex: plastic pyramid instead of cardboard), new game modes (including a rogue camel that goes backwards!), and an updated game board design.
- Celestia – Bet on staying in one city of Celestia for guaranteed points or travel to other cities where you might find more treasure or crash to the earth
Players work together to place tiles and build a beautiful map of Carcassonne, France. Workers are placed on the map in order to score points for their own players in various locations.
- Several expansions are available that diversify gameplay.
- Many sets include the River expansion, use this as a beginning guideline for the map.
- Alhambra - Players create their own map using buildings they purchase
- Kingdomino - Tile placement game where players are restricted to their own 5x5 map
- Dominion - Has a similar medieval theme
- Catan - Because you’re building a settlement and determining where to allocate your resources.
Your castle is surrounded by a forest filled with Goblins, Orcs, and Trolls. Players must work together to slay monsters and protect the castle towers. If it stands, everyone wins. If it falls, everyone loses.
- Although this is plenty difficult for beginners, experienced gamers might want to try the expansion versions.
- If your group is regularly struggling to win this game, remove a couple of the more powerful monsters (Troll Mage, Orc Warlord).
- Forbidden Island – Arrange tiles to form the island, then cooperate to save the island from sinking
- Ghost Stories – Work together to protect the village from the lord of hell and its legions of ghosts
- King of Tokyo - Also uses a hit point system
The cats have created quite a mess! Use logic to figure out the clues and identify the cat who committed the crime. Solve one of the 40 challenges, ranging from beginner to expert.
- Can be played with more than 1 player as a team activity.
- Great for before or after a program as it only takes a few minutes and can fill time.
- Gravity Maze - Created by the same company and made for 1 player
- Cat Game - For players who like the cat theme
- Rush Hour - One person is solving logic puzzles that get sequentially more difficult
You’re a brave and daring explorer, who’s landed on a magnificent island, bountiful with natural resources. The only trouble is, you’re not alone. Compete against others in a race to build on the island and become the ultimate settler.
- There is an extension that allows for up to 6 players, it also adds a new building phase.
- The game states that it’s suitable for ages 10+, younger players may need some time to get the rules down.
- Multiple expansions available for Settlers of Catan that increase the board size and add scenarios
- Stone Age- Players manage meeples to gain resources that they use to purchase civilization developments
- Carcassone - Players are building a settlement and determining how to use their resources
- Ticket to Ride-Players collect different colored train cars in order to build routes across America
Be a pirate and use resources to build your fleet of ships and expand to other islands. Watch out for the dreaded Ghost Captain and rely on wise Coco the parrot as you build a network of pirate lairs. The first to 7 lairs wins!
- A great intro to strategy games for very young kids.
- No reading-all visual.
- Catan- A more complicated version of the same game
- Kingdomino- A simple expansion-focused strategy game
- My First Stone Age- Simple resource collection and expansion game
Your group of adventurers will load up into a 3D airship and try their luck at reaching the farthest island in the land. Each island holds treasure cards that are worth victory points. The farther your ship gets, the higher is the point value of the treasure. You’ll have to place your trust in your fellow adventurers’ hands because it’ll be up to them (and you too on your turn) to captain the airship and defeat the obstacles in your group’s way. Will you stay airborne or will your ship go down? To find out, take a risk and go on this adventure.
- Best played with 4-6 people to increase the variety of cards in play
- Parts of the airship come loose
- Simple rules and mechanics, great for beginners
- Encourages role-playing interaction
- Zombie Dice – Similarly, players will press their luck in deciding whether to roll the dice again, score a better outcome, risk losing everything, or play it safe and keep what they’ve got
Bluff your way out of holding any four of the same nasty critter cards by convincing your opponents to take one or more cards from your hand. But watch out! If they call you on a bluff, you’re stuck with them!
- Coup – You must determine whether players are lying or telling the truth
- One Night Ultimate Werewolf – Players are bluffing and you have to read their intentions
Two spymasters compete to contact each of their undercover agents. They give one-word clues to an operative as he tries to successfully identify the secret agents. But all is lost if you accidentally contact the assassin.
- Although the publishers recommend the game for ages 14+, we’ve found that 10-year-olds enjoy playing.
- A great social game at parties that encourages interaction between teammates as they brainstorm the correct answers
- The game can be modified for three people with two spymasters giving clues to a single agent.
- There are many themed variants of this game such as Codenames: Marvel, Codenames: Harry Potter, Codenames: Disney, etc.